Meet our volunteer Executive Committee: Dr. Elizabeth Rae, Dr. Geetu Sharma, Dr. Anne Fanning, Dr. Dina Fisher, Dr. Menn Biagtan, Nash Dhalla, David Roth, and Linette McElroy.
Dr. Elizabeth Rae – Chair
Elizabeth has worked as the Associate Medical Officer of Health with the Tuberculosis program at Toronto Public Health since 2005. She is one of the authors of the 2013 Canadian TB Standards and has been involved in TB policy issues in Canada for many years.
Elizabeth’s involvement with TB began with her mum, who was diagnosed with TB as a young woman in England and spent 18 months in a TB Sanitorium, on treatment with the first widely available TB drugs: PAS by mouth and daily injections of streptomycin. Elizabeth learned TB diagnosis and treatment as a medical student in Winnipeg, mainly working with First Nations and Inuit people. Currently she is at Toronto Public Health, where the TB program works with patients, families, and communities who immigrated from all over the world as well as homeless individuals and care providers. She is an adjunct professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She has worked and taught in public health for 19 years, mainly in communicable disease control and epidemiology, and in public health ethics. Her TB advocacy interests include patient-focused care and outreach, determinants of health, and reducing the stigma from TB. She still remembers the lady who said she wished her treatable, curable TB had turned out to be lung cancer instead, “because that would be a respectable disease!”
Dr. Geetika (Geetu) Verma – Vice Chair, and also Chair of the World TB Day Work Group
Geetu is a respirologist in Peterborough, Ontario. She previously worked as the Provincial Tuberculosis Consultant for Alberta. She did both medical and respirology training at the University of Toronto, and then a Masters in Public Health from The University of London.
Her interests include public health aspects of tuberculosis control.
Dr. Anne Fanning, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta – Past Chair and Founder
Anne served as Director of Tuberculosis Services, Alberta Health, 1987-1996 and WHO Medical Officer for Global TB Education, 1998-9. She is the Past President (2000-03) of the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, past Chair and founder of STOP TB Canada and the network of STOP TB national partnerships. Anne is a board member if Keiskamma Canada, and the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation. She was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2007, received the Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012, and the Canadian Medical Association Starr award in 2014.
Dr. Dina Fisher – Secretary
Dr. Menn Biagtan, MD, MPH – Secretariat
Menn has been the Program Manager for the BC Lung Association for the last 20 years, and has been involved with the STOP TB Canada for the last 12 years. She also is the secretariat for the IUATLD-North America Region, and has been responsible for organizing the annual conference of the Region. Menn has collaborated with BC Centre for Disease Control TB Control in the development of educational materials and organizing World TB Day activities.
Nash Dhalla, RN, BScN – Chair, Collaboration and Community Engagement Work Group
Nash is a TB Nurse Consultant for TB Services for Aboriginal Communities (TBSAC) at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
Nash has 12 years of experience working with marginalized populations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She worked for BCCDC TB Control as the TB Outreach Worker and then as a program nurse for the Day Health Program at Dr. Peter’s Centre and the Maximally Assisted Therapy Program focusing on HIV/AIDS. Providing healthcare services to persons infected and affected with TB/HIV with a harm reduction and interdisciplinary team models are a passion.
“I believe that a thoughtful and proactive approach needs to be taken where all of civil societies is engaged to Stop TB in Canada and globally. Only by participating and being actively engaged in not only the political landscape but in local communities can we truly effect change in the social detainments of health.”
David Roth, MSc, PhD Candidate – Chair, Communications Work Group
David is an epidemiologist with Clinical Prevention Services at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. David’s work focuses primarily on surveillance and epidemiology of Tuberculosis, HIV and STI.
Linette McElroy, RN – Chair, TB Education and Resource Work Group
Linette is a registered nurse who has been involved in TB prevention, care and control for more than 20 years. A former case manager and educator at an outpatient TB clinic in British Columbia, she now focuses on creating and disseminating TB education and training events and resources. Linette has had the opportunity to work with jurisdictions across Canada and the US Centers for Disease Control in this capacity.
She has been a Contributor to the Canadian Tuberculosis Standards, has volunteered for many years with the TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN), and is currently Co-Chair of the TB Education and Training Work Group of the International Union against TB and Lung Disease (IUATLD). Linette’s special interests include TB contact and outbreak investigation, and World TB Day. In 2014, she helped to initiate STOP TB Canada’s first annual pan-Canadian World TB Day Planning webinar.
Having recently added ‘Grandma’ to the names she answers to, Linette is keen to accelerate progress toward a world without TB.